So you can read my books

Thursday, February 7, 2013


{For Siv Maria:
Writer's Block
How do you break through it?
I. Like driving: get the BIG PICTURE.
     A. Where are you in your novel?  Usually it's the middle where you bog down.
     B. Where is this scene taking you?
          Do you know exactly?  If this scene is filler.  Get rid of it.
          Are you bored with this scene?  If so, then, the reader will be even more so.
     C. Add some spice to it:
          Danger.  Fun.  Sex.  A little of all three.
     D. Use the boredom:
          Make an unexpected death trap for your hero in this scene.  If your reader is bored,
          the sudden death strike will hit her or him like a slap.
     E. How are the significant others in your life?
           Are they supportive?  If not, that can dry your will
           to go on.
Each of us resides in solitary confinement inside our minds.
Men are from Mars;Women from Venus --
                     but it often seems as if authors are from
                     another universe to those whose dreams
                     do not include writing.

I wish the significant others in your lives understood that
dreams are what brings spark to our souls.
I may not love sports but I try to nod and make supporting comments to my team-mates who live for football.

It is as if they do not see you I know --
       at least the part of you that murmurs in your heart.
       You are like a dog who sees color while the rest of
       his friends do not.
      You look in wonder at the rainbow as they puzzle
      at a horizon filled with shades of grey.
Please know that most great authors were not understood by
their families. 
But you have others here in blogdom that understand and pull
for you to make it.
II. To go forward sometimes you have to slip it in reverse -
     A. Ever get your car stuck in a rut?
     B. The only way to get it out of that rut was to go backwards a bit then go forward.
     C. Everything old is new again -
          Go back and re-read the three last chapters.  You will see things that need polishing.
          You will see how you can lay down hints of the death-trap coming in the  "boring"
III. Don't try to push your stalled car sideways.
     A. Re-read those last three chapters again --
          are your characters acting according to the natures you have given them,
          or are you forcing them to act or speak in ways that drive your story in the direction you
          want it?
     B. Alternate routes:
          Ask yourself are there any crazy wild directions the situation could go that would
          prove dangerous, funny, or sexy that would take you in a different direction that you
          had planned.
          If so, write those directions in that scene, putting all your heart and imagination into
          making them unexpected and riveting.
IV. Fuel Up
     A. Maybe your muse tank is simply out of gas:
     B. Change the scenery where you write
          If you always write indoors, go to the park, lake, or even your back yard to write.
          If you always write at home, go to a coffee shop or library to write.
     C. Break out the quote books -
          Look up quotes on the subject on which you're writing.  Look up some humorous ones.
          Look up quotes by your favorite authors.
     D. Play music you could imagine as the backdrop for your new scene.
     E. A check drawn from an account in which you never deposit will surely be NSF fated.
     F. Read poems that speak to you
                   Read snippets of books that encouraged you to
                   write in the first place.
          Carry a notebook with you at all times.  When an idea for a juicy piece of dialogue or plot
          twist occurs to you, write it down.
          Write a future chapter of your book that you are looking forward to writing.  It will re-
          energize your enthusiasm for your novel, and you will come back to your challenge
          chapter will renewed fire.
     A. Take your stalled chapter and write the very worst scenario for it that you can.  Have fun
          with it.  Make yourself cringe with it.
     B. Try to make yourself laugh aloud at how bad you can mangle it. 
Writing the scene out of left field
might surprise you with an actual great idea on how to make your scene sing.
VI. Kill somebody you hadn't planned to.
     A. Think of the one character you do not want to die.  Kill that person.
     B. It will startle you how it brings to life your novel. 
     C. Bring to light a sympathetic facet to your antagonist or show a gut-wrenching reason
          why she/he did a seemingly terrible thing.          


  1. If all those things don't stir the story to life, then it needs simmering for a bit longer.

    Liked this:
    E.) A check drawn from an account in which you never deposit will surely be NSF fated.

    I write future scenes, and jot ideas for stories as well as blogposts. All excellent suggestions, Roland. You've been busy again, haven't you?

  2. D.G.:
    Yes, 400 miles driven on blood runs with only 3 hours sleep. Poison Ivy on my hand creeping up my arm. Aaaargh!

    No wonder I still have not found time to get Victor Standish out of the mind of a dying panther in Faerie!

    Thanks for visiting and commenting so nicely. Great weekend for you I hope. I, of course, will be working!


  3. Glad to see you are recovering Roland. Have a good weekend.


  4. Thank you Roland! You are so right, I am in the middle of the story and not sure which way to go. Guess I am at a crossroad of sorts. These are very good tips, some I have tried, others I will. Have a great week-end, even though it may be an itchy one.

  5. Dare to write crap! Funny.
    I usually back peddle a bit if something isn't working, but otherwise I've never experienced writer's block.

  6. Donna:
    Recovering is an illusive term while driving weary with a throbbing, gnawing right hand! :-) May your weekend go extremely well.

    I am at a similar crossroads. An idea to take my novel in a new story-changing direction is tempting me. I am happy you found a bit of help in this post. :-)

    I'm not only back-pedaling, I'm dog pattling! LOL. Thanks for visiting and commenting!